NO TWEETS FROM TRUMP ALLOWING STATES TO PURSUE MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
A marijuana blockbuster came into the open Friday when it was revealed that President Trump, according to U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), will be supporting legislation to undo marijuana prohibition to the extent that states can enact their own marijuana legalization laws without fear of federal interference.
In response to the Department of Justice’s January 4th announcement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had rescinded the Cole Memorandum, Senator Gardner placed a hold on all DOJ nominees until he received a commitment that Colorado’s rights would not be infringed. After what the Senator termed as positive discussions with DOJ, Gardner lifted some of his holds but kept the rest in place until he received a full commitment that the guidelines of the Cole Memo would be respected. He seems to have received what he considers a full commitment as he released the following statement:
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana. Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.”
“Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees. My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk to deliver on his campaign position.”
Although Sen. Gardner referred specifically to Colorado, one would hope that Colorado is a symbolic metaphor for all states. If Trump sticks to this position, it will truly be as much of a watershed moment as it was in 2012 when Colorado and Washington legalized the adult-use of marijuana.
The question, of course, is will Trump stick to it. His unpredictability and capriciousness is legendary so it has to be taken with a measure of skepticism, but apparently Sen. Gardner does not share this concern. In a live Facebook interview with KDVR-TV in Denver, Gardner said it would be a “universal fix” for federal issues faced by cannabis businesses, including access to banks. CLICK HERE to see and hear the interview.
Several reasons to be skeptical:
Sen. Gardner had placed holds on all nominations to the Dept. of Justice creating a major backlog of appointments. This has caused major problems and could cause even worse problems in the near future as FOXnews reported “The action came amid widespread speculation that Trump will remove Justice officials overseeing the Russia investigation. Replacements of any of those officials would require new nominations.” Is it possible Pres. Trump told Sen. Gardner what he wanted to hear so as to get Gardner to withdraw the hold and allow his nominees to be confirmed and will then backpedal once his nominees are sworn in?
This is not idle speculation as others are concerned such as U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) who wrote on Twitter “This cannot be another episode of @realDonaldTrump telling somebody whatever they want to hear, only to change directions later on”.
Republicans in Congress are lopsidedly in support of continuing marijuana prohibition. When bills come up that will ease up on marijuana prohibition, only about 25% of Republicans support the legislation whereas upwards of 85% of Democrats support such legislation. It is the overwhelming number of Democrats coupled with a minority of Republicans that kept alive the Rohrabacher/Bluemenauer amendment which prevents the DOJ from spending money to enforce federal marijuana prohibition laws in states that have legalized medicinal marijuana.
It is the majority Democrat/minority Republican Senate and House members that would pass marijuana reform legislation, but they never get to vote on it because the Republican leadership does not allow any marijuana law reform bills to get out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
If Trump really is going to go to bat for a “federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all,” he is going to have to convince the Republican leadership to let these bills get to the floor for a vote. How many Tweets he sends out on the issue will be a good indication of just how serious he is.
The one big fly-in-the-ointment is police. It is unlikely that Trump consulted police groups, one of his biggest supporters, before leading Sen. Gardner to believe “he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.” When his police supporters find out about this, they most certainly will not be happy. Prohibition of drugs and marijuana is one of their major sources of money and power and their actions over the past five decades has clearly shown they will not let go of this money and power without a major down-and-dirty-below-the-belt fight.
Already opponents of legalization have taken to criticizing and threatening the President. “We hope the president — who doesn’t want to be known as the ‘Pot President’ — will reverse course soon,” said Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “This reckless plan will not go unanswered.”
Surely more police and War on Drug recipients will join Sabet. They will make it known to Trump that doing anything that promotes marijuana legalization is anathema to them. Trump loves to surround himself with cops and bathes luxuriously in their adulation, so the blowback from police could be very unsettling to him leading to waffling, backpedaling and then opposing allowing states to move forward on marijuana legalization in violation of federal law.
Several reasons not to be skeptical:
President Trump is more than just a little upset with AG Jeff Session who feels he has let him down big time when he recused himself from the Russian investigation. Rumors have it that Trump wants to fire Sessions but is reluctant to do so because of opposition from Republican congressional members.
Coming out in favor of allowing states to proceed with marijuana legalization and putting the imprimatur of his administration on it, would be an abomination to old-line drug warrior Sessions. This would put Sessions in the untenable position of having to stop his bellicose actions against marijuana legalization and watch helplessly as marijuana legalization spreads through the country. That might piss Sessions off so much that he quits and Trump wouldn’t have to fire him.
Reportedly Sen. Gardner is on good terms with President Trump and anybody on good terms with the President often gets what they want.
Although the majority of Republican in Congress oppose marijuana legalization, recent polls have shown the majority of Republicans in the United States now support marijuana legalization so he won’t be upsetting the all-important base that he caters too and counts on to continue supporting him.
In a campaign rally in Nevada in 2015, then candidate Trump stated “in terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state." Admittedly that wasn’t a major campaign promise like building a wall, but it was a campaign statement nonetheless. Considering how most of his campaign statements remain unfilled, this would be one that he could point to as having fulfilled.
The best reason not to be skeptical came when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders corroborated Gardner’s account stating:
“I can confirm the President did speak with Senator Gardner yesterday and again today. We’re always consulting Congress about issues, including states’ rights, of which the President is a firm believer. And the statement that the Senator put out earlier today is accurate.”
Celebrating MJ in the Middle of Nowhere
420 + 1 Seminar at Wonder Valley Community CenterSaturday, April 21 at 4:20 p.m.
Marijuana is everywhere even in the middle of nowhere and if you are living in the middle of nowhere marijuana is even more essential. On Saturday, April 21 at 4:20 p.m. I will be celebrating 420+1 Day in the middle of nowhere with a special presentation at the Wonder Valley Community Center which really is in the middle of nowhere at 80526 ½ Amboy Rd., Wonder Valley CA 92277.
My presentation will take a brief look back at the evolution of California’s marijuana laws, discuss how the implementation of Prop. 64 is going and how it affects the individual consumer and those who want to jump into this burgeoning business. Being out there in the middle of nowhere where many of these folks live on acres of land makes them very interested in Prop. 64’s commercial business provisions especially the microbusiness license.
Other topics I will cover will be driving laws, personal cultivation laws, the advantages of having a doctor's recommendation and what is happening or should be happening but isn’t in San Bernardino county. A nod to what is happening on the federal level including President’s Trump’s latest revelation will be included. I will conclude the presentation with the latest information on health issues including using marijuana for insomnia, depression and the opioid crisis.
The 420+1 Seminar will also feature a special birthday tribute honoring Yippie living legend, political satirist and cannabis advocate Paul Krassner, author of countless pro-pot articles and books including "Pot Stories for the Soul." According to the sponsors of the Wonder Valley event, Paul has indicated he may be phoning in to join the celebration.
Closing out the day will be live music courtesy of local Wonder Valley musicians.
Refreshments will be served. There is no charge for admission but donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of the event.
If you have never been out to Wonder Valley and been wondering what it is like to live in the middle of nowhere on the way to the Amboy Crater and the Route 66 town of Amboy, then take this marvelous opportunity to make the drive to the middle-of-nowhere and celebrate the marvels of 420 at 4:20 with the folks of Wonder Valley at the Wonder Valley Community Center.
An Unapologetic Progressive and Marijuana Advocate Running for the U.S. Senate
Featured on the newest installment of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense is Pat Harris, an unapologetic progressive running for US Senate from the State of California in the 2018 election against incumbent Dianne Feinstein. He believes it’s time for a truly progressive leader who is ready to not only fight the Trump agenda but can set a strong vision for California to act as a blueprint for the rest of the country.
His platform includes building more affordable housing to address homelessness, providing student debt relief, improving public education, upgrading our crumbling infrastructure with increased public works spending, implementing paid parental leave for all working men and women, and supporting common-sense gun safety legislation.
And yes it includes promoting marijuana legalization and removing the barriers to the implementation of Prop. 64 so that access is available throughout California safely, reliably, locally and affordably.
Pat will speak of his pilgrimage to the booming marijuana town of Adelanto and how this woe-be-gotten berg has emerged as a model for the opportunities marijuana businesses afford.
He believes that by bringing all voices to the table, including those of cannabis consumers and producers, a truly progressive agenda can be forged that will benefit the vast majority of Californians.
Pat grew up in a middle class family in a small farming community in Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas where he was awarded the J. William Fulbright Award as the outstanding history student. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist in the state of Arkansas. In 1993, he graduated with a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
For the past 23 years, Pat has practiced law, first in Tennessee as a public defender, later working in private practice as a criminal defense attorney, and most recently as a civil rights attorney representing Hispanic, Black and Armenian minority communities against cases involving excessive force, wrongful death, and false imprisonment involving law enforcement.
He has never backed down from fighting the establishment and has a proven-track record of winning difficult battles, including taking on the Catholic Church over the abuse of children. To learn more about Pat Harris and his campaign for the U.S. Senate, go to: www.patharrisforsenate.com.
For a new look at politics in California as well as the role marijuana plays in them, grab a doobie, an edible or your dab rig for the latest installment of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense. CLICK HERE or log on 24/7 at www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews.